Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 7 October 2008

All go at Compost Mansions!

Yesterday it was all go at Compost Mansions!

I have been looking at the Broody Ark for the last few days and thinking the ever growing chicks have less and less room in it and wondering what to do.

I can't let them out to free range in the Orchard as they are too small and vulnerable to the cats catching them:- at least 2 of our cats happily catch pheasant chicks each year and the Sweetie Six DO look just like pheasants at the moment!

The Orchard is fenced off with electric fence wire, but it isn't electrified, so is not a barrier to the cats.

I DO let the Chicks and Sweetiepie out regularly throughout the day; I take a mug of tea and drink it whilst they all have 10 - 15 mins roam around and also if I am doing any chore in the general area of the Orchard I let them out.

BUT we decided the time had come to DO SOMETHING about it all. Compostman is making a bigger run for them, but in the meantime I have had a swap around of all the hens and the hen houses.

We moved the Eglu to a fresh patch in the Orchard and I have put Sweetie and the Sweetie Six in there;

It has a much bigger and taller run which allows the chicks to stretch up and flap around much more!

This has displaced Babs and Goldie, but I decided not to just let them take their chances in Cluckingham Palace with all the others: I decided, instead, to break up the group so as to " wrong foot" the pecking order...

So Genghis and Henny ( main culprits) have been moved into the Broody Ark and Babs and Goldie have gone in with Ginger, Attilla and Cathy.

I HOPE that this will give them time to settle down in Cluckingham Palace and let Henny get over being such a bully!

Someone asked me recently how I kept the food dry in the feeders, well I have a tarpaulin fixed over the end of each run which keeps the rain off the food and provides some shelter for the girls.


  1. All your girls look very happy and what wonderful accommodation they abide in. They all take to stardom very well don't they and do not look even slightly phased by the camera.
    I just love the photographs and enjoy keeping up with their antics... looking forward to more updates.

    Jane xxx

  2. Hello Jane!

    I must admit they all come running and peer into the camera very intently, and Babs and Goldie in particular have a very camera happy set of poses!

  3. The lengths we go to keep our chooks happy....
    The eglu looks like great accommodation for the chicks to explore and stay safe and dry during this unpredicatable weather.

  4. Thank you! They do seem much happier today, I feel a bit bad that I kept them in the Broody Ark run for the last week, but my back has been very bad and Compostman is still recovering from major surgery and is not allowed to lift stuff, so it had to wait until I could do most of the moving stuff around, which was yesterday....

    Still they are in now and have been having fun with the log, the perch and pulling all the straw out of the Eglu and then taking it back in again ( WTF is that about?)

    They also had a good few shovels of chippings from my mountainous pile and got VERY excited about finding the bugs and worms ( shouts of Mum! Mum ! come and LOOK!!!! to poor old Sweetiepie)

  5. I have to show my youngest grandson your pictures - he is looking for an idea for sheltering his new chicks - well, if he had his way they would all be in his bedroom!

  6. Oh, oh, forgot - do you have a camera set up out there permanently? My nephew builds Critter Cams for National Geographic and he's promised to come build one for the henhouse so we can view them on line!

  7. Hi there Rodeo Princess!

    I must admit I have thought about smuggling in the chicks, but their incessant cheeping would drive me mad and they poo non stop ..( well it seems that way)

    I don't have a "chick cam" rigged up ( yet...) I just tend to carry around my little Fuji digital camera and take pictures or video clips...I LIKE the idea though!

    It has become quite a habit.


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.